The passage of the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Act may be a mandate with an empty promise. Although it sets forth a detailed plan to build a new health insurance system, it does not address many issues in an orderly fashion.
In fact the majority of physicians recognize and espouse the observation that the law will make the system worse. It has been designed for political expediency to deliver visible benefits to expand access to healthcare, remove pre-existing barrier to coverage, and other highly visible benefits that are front-end loaded which will drive up costs, not decrease them.
One system cannot solve the multitude of challenges which are quite diverse between communities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, rural cities such as Indio, California, Desert Hot Springs, California, Atlanta, Georgia or Oglethorpe GA.
A study that is often quoted is the “Dartmouth Study” of utilization and costs of a community such as McAllen Texas and Portland Maine or Madison, WI or Mason City Iowa. Statistics do not lie, but can be very deceiving when comparing such radically different demographics and diverse cultures.
Our community in the Inland Empire region of Southern California combines a multi-cultural population, a high rate of unemployment (one of the highest in the nation) and uninsured or medi-caid eligibles. Riverside County and San Bernadino Counties are large, as large as some of the smallest states in the east. The western portions of both counties are metropolitan and the eastern portions rural, much like many states such as Maryland, New York and Georgia. This is not a unique problem in most states. .